COMPTEL is the first imaging telescope to explore the MeV gamma-ray range (0.7 to 30 MeV). At present, it is performing a complete sky survey. Targets of special interest in the COMPTEL energy range are radio pulsars, X-ray binaries, novae, supernovae, supernova remnants, mulecular clouds, the interstellar medium within the Milky Way, active galactic nuclei, and the diffuse cosmic background radiation. The data from the first half year of the mission have demonstrated that COMPTEL performs as expected. The Crab is clearly seen at its proper position in the first images of the anticenter region of the galaxy. The Crab and Vela pulsar lightcurves have been measured with unprecedented accuracy. The quasars 3C273 and 3C279 have been seen for the first time at MeV energies. Both quasars show a break in their energy spectra in the COMPTEL energy range.

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Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement Series


European Southern Observatory (ESO)

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